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Ask the rabbi Halacha How to Pray?

Davening for Fellow Jews

Rabbi Jonathan Blass5 Cheshvan 5763
2058
Question
I recently started up a list of names to daven for- for Shidduchim, as I have yet to find such a list. I was wondering, first of all- how should the names be added- meaning should it be _____ Ben/Bat father’s name or mother’s name, or both? Is there a difference between males and females? Besides saying Tehilim, is there any other prayer that should be said for this purpose? Also, BE"H if this list is successful, as it seems to be becoming B"H, I hope to start some other lists for other needs- Aliyah; Parnasa; Shlom Bayit; having children; success in Chinuch; and anything else that might come up as a need... For these cases would there be a different format of how the names should be added, or the same as for the Shidduchim? If anyone is interested in having their name added or in davening they should please contact tefilot@hotmail.co.il
Answer
When a prayer is a request for mercy for a particular individual, it is preferable but not essential that he/she be mentioned together with his/her mother’s name (rather than the father’s name). This preference is alluded to in Tehillim 86, 16 and is mentioned in the Zohar ((Shu”t Daat Cohen 132; Shu”t Yabia Omer II Orach Chayim 11). It is important to emphasize that the basic and most essential prayers- more important than any that may be added spontaneously- are those that were set by Chazal and incorporated into the siddur, especially the Shmoneh Esrei. The Shmone Esrai should be said with complete concentration and will and this covers most of the requests you mention. Is the need for parnasa limited to those on a specific list? Who doesn’t need Parnasa? The request for Parnasa is included in the Bracha of Shmone Esrai-“Barech Aleinu”. Who doesn’t need success in Chinuch? This is included in “Ata Chonen L’Adam Da'at”. Please stress to those who contact you that prayer is not a substitute for action. If there is a problem of domestic violence- a prayer for “Shalom Bayit” is not the solution; the victim should turn for professional assistance. If parents are having difficulties with the education of their children, together with their prayers they should examine whether they are bringing up each child appropriately and if they are devoting adequate time to him. Aliyah is a Mitzva that like other Mitzvot that obligate the individual, should not be delayed until one’s prayers are answered. Do the Mitzva, pray for Divine assistance, and the “Zchut” of the Mitzva itself will speed the prayer along.
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